The UK’s workforce has seen a shift from manual labor to sedentary offices over the past century. These changes have created new safety issues. Repetitive Strain Injuries are one of the most common. It is the term for long-term injury that results from repeating the same act over and again.
All pain felt in muscles, nerves or tendons is usually categorized under the Repetitive Strain Injury category. Most of the time, these are felt in the upper body – since it’s the arms, wrists and shoulders that we use to perform most tasks.
What is the cause of RSI?
RSI can be caused by any combination of movements that put stress on the same small group of muscles and tendons. Sometimes, it’s even a lack of motion: you might get a stiff neck from holding your head at an awkward angle for long periods.
Secondary causes include a lack of ability to properly warm up, or to complete delicate tasks in freezing temperatures. If you’re a plumber working in homes without central heating during the winter, for example, then you’re at risk – albeit in a slightly different way to an office worker.
What symptoms are associated with RSI?
The affected areas might feel tingling, pain or aching. To begin with, you might associate these symptoms with a particular action – but if you ignore the symptoms, then you might begin to feel them all the time.
What is the best way to diagnose it?
Bring your symptoms to the GP. Have them examine the affected areas. You might be able to exclude tendonitis or rotator-cuff syndrome.
It is how it should be treated.
The severity of your condition will determine how RSI should be treated. If you’ve left the injury to deteriorate, then a more significant intervention might be warranted. The most common treatment is steroids and physiotherapy. Sometimes, it may be necessary to have surgery. This will necessitate a protracted recovery period, during which you’ll be unable to perform the task that leads to your RSI.
It is easier to prevent your RSI than it is to treat it. It means taking time off from the activities that cause injury and exercising regularly. Examine your posture, and consider your ergonomics.
It’s not your fault.
The following are the guidelines 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act, your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe working environment – which means, amongst other things, protecting you against repetitive strains. This duty can be rescinded by your employer or any other person. Personal injury claims can be used to seek out compensation.